A Night of Watching
Posted on September 19, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Victory Call
We are going on a journey in our sanctified imaginations.
Exodus. A turning point in history in which the mighty hand of God delivered His people from bondage.
Pause a moment and put yourself in Egypt that night- in your home as an Israelite.
You heard what Moses said – “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.” i Father took care of the details. It was messy – blood splattered as he applied it to the door lintel and doorposts and the smell…lamb’s blood has a smell. It’s twilight just as Moses instructed “the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.” ii
The house fills with the aroma of roasted lamb. You gather with the others around the table because you know no one is allowed to go outside. Everyone is speaking in hushed tones. Darkness is falling. There is an eerie stillness over the land. You can feel it. Is it fear or anticipation you feel? It’s both.
Then it starts – you hear a scream, then another and another. Soon there is a cacophony of wailing, screeching and sobbing. You know people are dying all around you in the homes without the lamb’s blood. Some of them are people you know having lived in Egypt all your life. “And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead.” iii
Then there is a knock on the door. Everyone jumps. Your heart leaps to your throat. Father opens the door but just a crack. What? Pharaoh is letting us go? Egyptians are running through the streets yelling with great urgency for us to leave. “The Egyptians were urgent with the people to send them out of the land in haste.” iv
You jump to your feet. You do as father instructs and run to the homes of Egyptians asking for silver, gold and clothing and to your surprise they thrust it into your hands and plead with you to leave. The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. v While you are doing that, others are gathering up the bread bowls with dough that has not even been leavened. …unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not wait. vi
You gather up what seems most important to take on your journey and head into the streets. The wailing throughout the land continues, the darkness is heavy – death is everywhere. Everything is rushed. People are running. Children are crying. Men are shouting instructions. Carts are filled to overflowing. The herds seem agitated as they are gathered to be led out. The noise level is deafening. You can barely hear yourself think.
It has been so long in coming. You have heard the promise of God’s deliverance passed down from generation to generation and tonight you get to be a witness to the powerful hand of I AM.
“The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. It was a night of watching by the LORD, to bring them out of the land of Egypt…” vii
Are you there? Do you feel it? Is your heart pumping? Are you trying to catch your breath? Me too!
You have cleared the city. Now, stop. Right there under the starlit sky. …look up. Slow your breathing, close your eyes. Take it all in. It is really happening.
The Lord Himself is watching over you and all of Israel in your flight. It is a night of watching by the LORD. He promised and He is bringing it to pass. He is leading you out. That little phrase tucked into Exodus chapter 12 – brings such comfort. For me, I feel like I can exhale.
What are you going through? Has your journey been long and arduous? Do you wonder where God is? What He is up to? Does He even see you or care?
Father is watching you. It is a night of watching by the LORD to bring you out of or through your suffering. His eyes are on you. You never leave His mind. He is constantly aware of you.
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. Psalm 34:15
For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Proverbs 2:6-8
Go ahead. Exhale.
Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and is the Executive Director & CEO of Changed Choices, a Christian non-profit in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22